Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Brazil Draft Resolution on Access to Medication

Brazil tabled a draft resolution on access to medication today, at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva.

The newly established HRC is currently meeting in Geneva for its second session, 18 September to 6 October.

The resolution "requests the Secretary-General, based on consultations with Governments, United Nations organs, programmes, specialized agencies and international and non-governmental organizations, to conduct a study on the possible impacts of intellectual property rights on the access to medication," particularly in areas of extreme emergency, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. It is proposed that the results of the study would be presented as a report to the HRC at its 4th session.

Importantly, the resolution looks to the exploration of "new and innovative financing mechanisms," arguably relevant not only in the research and development of new medicines but also in the transfer of technology and the improvements to infrastructure and facilities in developing economies. On this point, the recent WHO report is evidence of the necessity to develop new frameworks for R & D and transfer. And a recent article in PLoS Medicine, by Michael Westerhaus and Arachu Castro, suggests that the WTO rules to improve global publich health have really achieved little change in the area of HIV/AIDS.

The HRC is set to consider the resolution this afternoon.

Thanks to Hossam Bahgat, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), for this information from Geneva.

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